Tips for Maintaining Older Rental Homes
Newer homes are often desirable due to their, well, newness. But, older homes? Ahh – those are the homes that have character, history, and depth. They are the ones that are sought after by the individuals who can see their true beauty and worth. Sure, they may require a bit of work and a bit more routine maintenance to avoid bigger issues down the road, but they can make a beautiful home.
As an investor, if you have found yourself with an older home amongst those in your portfolio, be sure to give it some extra attention. Not sure where to begin? No problem. We’ve put together some tips for you about maintaining older rental homes.
Create a Checklist
Checklists help you make sure you are covering all the bases when it comes to home maintenance. Plan out inspections of your property. Older homes require that you be proactive with care. Letting something go for too long can leave you with much bigger problems. Some items on the checklist should be monitored every six months, others annually. The sooner you address concerns, the better shape you – and your property – will be in.
Every 6 months:
- Gutters and downspouts
- Windows and doors
- Painted exterior
- Mortar joints
Insulation is important for older homes. Most don’t come with too much insulation and they can be subjected to extreme temperatures depending on the season. Not only can the temperatures impact the health of the home, but they can also make it unpleasant for anyone who wants to live there.
Renters may love the character of an older home, but they also want the home to be energy efficient. Lack of insulation means that cooling and heating costs may be a bit too extreme – and not well-received by tenants.
If your older property does not currently have insulation, you may want to take steps to get it installed.
No one wants moisture getting into their home. For older homes, this could be damaging – not to mention it could result in a bacteria breeding ground. For areas of heavy winds, air leaking into the home can take away from the work of the installed insulation.
Fill in any leaks or cracks by doors and windows using a seal or caulking. The difference can positively impact the entire house. And, again, lead to a more energy-efficient residence.
The foundation of your property is what holds the entire home in place. Over time, shifting and settling can occur. It’s natural. However, you don’t want to see a lot of cracking taking place. If you do, it is best that you seek professional assistance to get this addressed right away.
A cracked foundation does not necessarily mean that the house is in trouble, but putting it off may cost you big time in the long run.
Don’t be discouraged about investing in older rental properties. Follow your checklist and fix potential problems before they become huge issues – you’ll be fine!
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out atwww.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube, Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.